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IMBA ICP Level 1 Certification – Anniston, Al.

Kat Sweet, an IMBA ICP Instructor Trainer joined Trail Specialist and ICP certified instructor Mark McClure at Coldwater Mountain near Anniston, Alabama, to deliver an ICP (Instructor Certification Program) Level1 Ride Guide course to six local mountain bikers.

The training began in the late afternoon on Friday 14th March. The group had travelled to Anniston from across the states of Alabama and Georgia.

Using a classroom space, kindly donated by the American Red Cross, students were taught the theories and best practices of being a successful guide. Over the four-hour session attendees learned about emergency action plans, route planning, and the necessary tools and equipment for guiding. A pre-course test was also reviewed with questions and answers from the eager delegates.

A sunny Saturday morning saw the group meet at the Coldwater Mountain trails (an IMBA Ride Center). The outdoor sessions allowed students to learn techniques for guiding through demonstration, discussion and practice. The day started with instruction from Kat on the best ways to start a tour, from the moment of meeting the group through to heading out on a ride is as important as the guiding given out on the trail. The ICP students where shown techniques on how to assess the skill of riders whom they would guide, as well as  advice on how to ensure that equipment is checked and properly set up.

The group then experienced a short ride guided by Kat and Mark on the Baby Bear trail. During the ride students also learned techniques for how to make the ride fun for participants while keeping them feeling secure.

After a lunch break the group got their first chance to put into practice the skills they had learned in the morning session. Each student went through the procedure of starting a tour. The important elements included rider skill assessment, encouraging the group with a number of the fundamental skills identified by the ICP program.  Kat then provided feedback to each student about their mock session.

Following the pre-tour skills session and equipment checks the students demonstrated their new found knowledge on the trail leading their class mates under the watchful eye of the ICP Instructor Trainer.

Sunday dawned grey and rainy however the weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of the students. The morning would have them deliver a full pre-ride session and guide a short ride on the Coldwater Mountain single track all while being assessed by the Instructor Trainer.  By late morning the sun was shining and the group had all completed their assessments.

The students spent the afternoon taking part in an ICP Level 2 preparatory skills session. Kat and Mark gave instruction helping the students to improve their riding skills while demonstrating how a proper skills clinic should run from start to finish.

Towards the end of the day the students met individually with the ICP Instructor Trainer to receive feedback from the Instructor Trainer on their performance during the assessment. It is a pleasure to say that all six students graduated the class.


A massive well done to the six newly qualified Level 1 Ride Guides:

Matthew Johnson

Natalie Smith

Ricky Stewart

Grant Chaffin

Darin Sims

Doug Brown


And thank you to course organizer Darin Sims / NEABA ,  Wigs Wheels, The American Red Cross, Aniston,  Coldwater Mountain Bike Trails.



Join IMBA ICP Ride Guides at Coldwater Mountain during the SORBA summit which will be held 21st – 23rd March 2014 in Anniston, Alabama.

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